Pink, Puja, Play...... Pramadh
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of celebrations at JH. As parents, it has meant that we ensure Ira is in the 'directed' outfits (traditional clothes are the norm on festive days) and that has resulted in creative fusion solutions, frantic buys and happy camera moments. For Ira, in several ways, it has been the opening up of a whole new world. There has been some confusions, some adamant Ira moments and some moments of pure bliss.
Ira has discovered a love for her purple and pink shoes (which she chose over red ones in the store); We have successfully put together a pink ensemble for her - matching- matching head to toe! The priceless moment was getting a compliment from a friend, whose daughter is almost always impeccably attired in coordinated clothes. We have always been very conscious about ensuring a gender neutral colour wardrobe for her, which meant that she has lots of blues and greys too, amidst the yellows, greens, reds and pinks. She has recently taken a liking to somethings pink- like the pink bike or a pink rainbow top and we have gone with the flow.
The various festive celebrations at school were accompanied by 'Puja' in some form. For Ira, this is an alien concept as we do not have any idols at home or the concept of puja. So, when asked to put a kumkum tika or eat Prasad, she rubbed the tika from her forehead and refused the sweet. We primarily think it is the unfamiliarity of the act. What is interesting is the school teachers telling us (in an apologetic tone) that she didn't want it or that she cried when they were all asked to specifically sit in a room where Puja was being performed. We told them that all this is new for her and we are absolutely fine (her Papa being the most happy) if she doesn't follow these. While her behaviour or our reactions are not the norm that is expected, we do hope that we will have the freedom to do as we please. Which means, they don't force Ira to do things she doesn't and we are not expected to instruct her to follow those rituals. In the future, it is possible that Ira may choose a 'faith' that she may follow and may become ritualistic in her own way, and she would have the freedom to make that choice. We have not assigned her a religion in her birth certificate (Details and more in an upcoming blog post).
The last few weeks have also been her initiation into playdates and mall play spaces (for the first time ever!!!). I am discovering the daunting task that Mammas have today of planning play dates and such. When we were kids, we played on the house street with what we had. Today, with growing nuclear families, unless you have friends in your apartment, your child is surrounded by adults. These playdates are a fabulous way to get them to meet their class friends in different environments. The WhatsApp group of mommies that seemed like the most natural thing to do, has actually become a form of social support. Clarifying what day is being celebrated, does the bandh affect the school, when is the PTM etc etc. One of the biggest positives is, in the course of things, I have met some amazing moms and found new friends sharing quirky common interests (again a topic for a solo blog post)! It has been a revelation seeing Ira in the new play spaces. The mall was like an overload of things to do and she was wanting to do everything at the same time. We of course discovered the immense energy they have to keep doing the same thing again and again- when rotating, revolving, running and jumping across soft terrains seemed like the biggest life goals. Play dates help immensely develop a childs' interpersonal skills and we are just glad that we jumped on the band wagon. Ira and we of course are partial to the parks and natural spaces, where picking stones and cleaning the area with a twig is like a mission for her. Ira for sometime when asked her school name, would actually say, "Cubbon Park"!
Lingering in all these, have been the 'Pramadh' moments that we have observed, ably demonstrated by our 27 month old. When asked her name, Ira almost always tells her full name, "Ira Pramadh"(while we gloat beside her). What we have also realised is that she seems to have a very strong sense of yes or no. She loves nature and dogs and climbing mini hillocks; and doing things her Mamma perceives as risky, like clinging onto a ball swing and swinging. Irrespective of the activity or the place, the keen interest to know what is in the snack box. The eagerness to demonstrate the new things she has learnt. While her learning curve has been steep, the absorption of the same has been a steeper curve for us. Whether it is walking through a book aisle and shouting, "Papa, see FROJEN" or telling us, "Okay Guys! Look at me, I will now sing Ring-a ring-a roses" or reasoning, "....because I like...". I for sure will not disagree with Ms. Pramadh. So, adios till tales of tomorrow!